Saturday, June 19, 2010

Which will die in the summer of '73?


Pat Woodell (Heather)
Roberta Collins (Beth)
Marki Bey (Carla)
Laurie Rose (Brea)
Christina Hart (Paula)
Connie Strickland (Alice)
Barbara Fuller (Sylvia)
David Moses (Mike)
Ken Scott (Marty)
Gary Mascaro (Arnie)
Ben Pfeiffer (Lee)
Kipp Whitman (Don)
Greg Mabrey (Harold)
Darl Severns (Nick)
David Ankrum (Andy)
John Morgan Evans (Warren)
Peter Oliphant (Aaron)
John Durren (Socks)
Richard Mansfield (Mickey)
Charles Stroud (The Drunk)
James V. Christy (The Professor)


Directed by
Arthur Marks

Produced by
Charles Stroud

Executive Producers
William Silberkleit
Don Gottlieb

Production Manager
Mike Messinger

Assistant Director
Mike Messinger

2nd Assistant Director
Roger Slager

Script Supervisor
Hannah Hempstead

Betty Bolling

Production Assistant
Betty Bolling

Harry May

Ed Resnick

1st Assistant Cameraman
Brad May

Beau Marks

Tim Griffin

Best Boy
Les Haas

Key Grip
Bobby Rose

Sound Mixer
Andy Babbish

Boom Man
Ken Eisley

Dennis Nodine

Alan Hoffman

Makeup Artists
Chuck House
Mitchell Clay

Marc Dodell

MPAA rating: R
Running time: 87 minutes

General Film Corporation


Four roommates at Baldwin University in Los Angeles are different looks and style, but they have a common pre-occupation -- sex. They are Carla (Marki Bey), black and beautiful; Beth (Roberta Collins), a blonde psychology major; Brea (Laurie Rose), a pre-med health nut; and Heather (Pat Woodell), the kind of brunette you take home to mother -- especially when mother's not home.

Preparing for a long, hot -- in the figurative sense -- summer at Lake Arrowhead, the girls are joined by Heather's cousin Paula (Christina Hart), a shapely stewardess who might have modeled the entire "Fly Me" campaign. If there's a word for the five girls, and it is hardly adequate, it's voluptuous.

Before going on vacation, the roommates have fun and games at a swinging bar -- actually a headquarters for "body exchanges" -- and at a far-out beach house party. There the action ranges from a chess match between Carla and a sodden professor (James V. Christy) who cannot keep his eyes off her bosom, and a sit-up contest between Brea and Mickey (Richard Mansfield), with varied sexual activity as award to the winner.

At Arrowhead, Heather is to share her luxurious lakefront home with Beth and Paula. There they find Don (Kipp Whitman) trespassing on the property; Heather first orders him off the premises but then agrees to keep him on to do handiwork for hire.

Carla is to be local librarian for the summer at Arrowhead. She rents an apartment and soon finds a liaison with Mike Black (David Moses), a black police officer. Brea is to be nurse at a boys' camp, where her physique instantly arouses the youths, especially an extroverted youngster, Aaron (Peter Oliphant) and a shy lad, Harold (Greg Mabrey).

Beth and a lakeside neighbor, Alice (Connie Strickland) are taking water skiing lessons from Nick (Darl Severns), a sometime boyfriend of Beth's. When she falls, Beth is picked out of the water by Lee (Ben Pfeiffer), a rich divorced architect. They quickly drift into an affair, which Beth takes seriously.

Heather resumes a long-time intimacy with Marty (Ken Scott). He is proprietor of an arcade with his wife Sylvia (Barbara Fuller), who is aware of Marty's reputation as a swinger. She indulges her bitterness by constant nagging of their son Arnie (Gary Mascaro), who is mortified by his parents' public bickering.

Alice is walking home when a drunken motorcycle freak, "Socks" (John Durren), chases her through the forest on his bike. She manages to escape and takes refuge at Heather's house. While walking home from there, Alice is knifed to death by a shadowy female figure.

Another girl, known only as Diane, is killed while water skiing by a rifle shot from the same mystery assassin.

Paula makes a date with Arnie for a night-time walk in the woods. Despite here provocative invitation, Arnie cannot make it with her, and her taunts drive him away in a fury.

The knifer reappears in the middle of the night at Heather's house, where she awakens in time and flees through the house while Paula calls the police. Heather is spared but the attacker gets away before Mike and another officer arrive.

Lee breaks off the affair with Beth, saying he is going back to his wife. Genuinely in love, she realizes he has simply "used" her. There is also a showdown between Don and Heather. He exposes her hangup saying she has put a shell around herself against "little people" like him. When she breaks down and weeps, he kisses her tenderly and says he may see her again "back in L.A." Meantime Brea, who is sympathetic to Harold's mistreatment by his "buddies," overcomes the boy's shyness and gently introduces him to the realities of life.

All of the roommates are attending a gala end-of-summer country club party when bullets start ripping into the crowded room. Several people are hit before Mike can work his way outside, and shoots the killer. The dead "female" murderer, wearing a wig and woman's clothing, is Arnie.

As the roommates drive away from Arrowhead, Heather says, "Hey, troops...what shall we do for Christmas vacation?"


Marc Edward Heuck said...

I can't wait for the upcoming Dark Sky DVD release. Though I've heard they can't find Marki Bey and Lauri Rose for interviews, and another cast member turned them down.

Arnie, in his female disguise, looks disturbingly like SCOTT PILGRIM director Edgar Wright!

Temple of Schlock said...

I talked with Todd at Dark Sky about this back in October. Marki Bey used to have a website dedicated to arts & crafts but I can't find it now. Laurie Rose is now known as the bellydancer "Mesmera" and has her own website.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to see this film should email Dark Sky Films and request that they release it on DVD! Dark Sky has proved that they respond to requests for releases, such as this month's upcoming BONNIE'S KIDS (which might be another Arthur Marks film).

The Dead Next Door said...

Marki Bey turned up at a screening of THE LANDLORD presented by John Singleton in L.A. a year or two ago. I think it was AFI event.

OKCRay said...

Saw this movie back in October, '07 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX as part of its "Weird Wednesday" feature. This was one of those movies that I vividly remember seeing the ads in the newspapers for when I was 9 years old, so I made the trip to Austin when it appeared and was not disappointed! Interesting story lines, gorgeous girls, funky 70s fashions and some insane plot twists. I also was lucky to get a theatrical poster and have it nicely framed in my apartment. Really looking forward to Dark Sky's DVD offering... if it's anything like the job they did with BONNIE'S KIDS we're in for a real treat!

Diabolik6 said...

The disc will have interviews with director Arthur Marks and co-stars Christina Hart and Roberta Collins, for sure. Possibly more.

Anonymous said...

Our patience is being rewarded! THE ROOMMATES will be released on a double feature DVD/Blu-ray combo package (paired with Arthur Marks' A WOMAN FOR ALL MEN) on March 24, 2015. This is part of the resurrected Gorgon Video line (under the MPI/Dark Sky Films umbrella). Looking forward to seeing this long overlooked gem restored for its first-ever home video release!